There is no use removing doubts one by one. If we clear one doubt another doubt will arise and there will be no end of doubts. But, if by seeking the doubter, the doubter is found to be really non-existent, then all doubts will cease.
Self-Inquiry directly leads to realization by removing the obstacles which make you think that the Self is not already realized.
There is no moment when the Self as consciousness does not exist, nor can the seer remain apart from consciousness.
Which is the real power (siddhi)? Is it to increase prosperity or bring about peace? That which results in peace is the highest perfection (siddhi).
The normal self is the mind. The mind is with limitations. But pure Consciousness is beyond limitations, and is reached by investigation into the "I"
You must never rest content with the pleasure of Laya (temporary abeyance of the mind) experienced when thought is quelled, you must press on until all duality ceases.
The final obstacle in meditation is ecstasy; you feel great bliss and happiness and want to stay in that ecstasy. Do not yield to it but pass on to the next stage which is great calm.
Meditation is not so much thinking of the Self as giving up thinking of the not-Self. When you give up thinking of outward objects and prevent your mind from going outwards by turning it inwards and fixing it in the Self, the Self alone remains.
The proper way to get rid of a desire is to find out "Who gets the desire? What is its source?" When this is found, the desire is rooted out and it will never again emerge or grow.
All metaphysical discussion is profitless unless it causes us to seek within the Self for the true reality. All controversies about creation, the nature of the universe, evolution, the purpose of God, etc., are useless. They are not conducive to our true happiness. People try to find out about things which are outside of them before they try to find out "Who am I?" Only by the latter means can happiness be gained.
The moment the ego-self tries to know itself, it changes its character; it begins to partake less and less of the insentient (jada) in which it is absorbed, and more and more of the consciousness of the Self.
There are no others to be helped, for a realized being sees only the Self; just like a goldsmith estimating the gold in various items of jewelry sees only the gold.
The mind is intangible, in fact it does not exist. The surest way to control it is to seek it. Then its activities cease.
Actually, the idea of the Self being the witness is only in the mind; it is not the absolute truth of the Self. Witnessing is relative to objects witnessed. Both the witness and his object are mental creations.
There is only one state, that of consciousness or awareness or existence. The three states of waking, dream and sleep cannot be real. They simply come and go. The real will always exist.
The mind turned inwards is the Self; turned outwards, it becomes the ego and all the world.
There is no difference between the dream and the waking state except that the dream is short and the waking long. Both are the results of the mind.
The seer and the seen together constitute the mind. See if there is such a thing as the mind. Then, the mind merges in the Self and there is neither the seer nor the seen.
Cotton made into various clothes we call by various names. Gold made into various ornaments, we call by various names. But all the clothes are cotton and all the ornaments gold. The one is real, the many are mere names and forms.
The mind does not exist apart from the Self, that is, it has no independent existence. The Self exists without the mind, never the mind without the Self.
That which is called happiness is only the nature of Self; Self is not other than perfect happiness. That which is called happiness alone exists. Knowing that fact and abiding in the state of Self, enjoy bliss eternally.
If a man thinks that his happiness is due to external causes and his possessions, it is reasonable to conclude that his happiness must increase with the increase of possessions and diminish in proportion to their diminution. Therefore, if he is devoid of possessions, his happiness should be nil. What is the real experience of man? Does it conform to this view? No.
In deep sleep man is devoid of possessions, including his own body. Instead of being unhappy he is quite happy. Everyone desires to sleep soundly. The conclusion is that happiness is inherent in man and is not due to external causes. One must realize the Self in order to open the store of unalloyed happiness.
When you are in the Heart, the Heart is known to be neither the centre nor the circumference. There is nothing else apart from it.
Realization is nothing to be gained afresh; it is already there. All that is necessary is to get rid of the thought "I have not realized."
Stillness or peace is realization. There is no moment when the Self is not.
There is no reaching the Self. If Self were to be reached, it would mean that the Self is not here and now and that it is yet to be obtained. What is got afresh will also be lost.
Wrong knowledge is the false identification of the Self with the body and the mind. This false identification must go, and then the Self alone remains.
Realization is for everyone; realization makes no difference between the aspirants. This very doubt, whether you can realize, and the notion "I-have-not-realized" are themselves the obstacles. Be free from these obstacles also.
Questioner: How long does it take to reach mukti (liberation)?
Sri Bhagavan: Mukti is not to be gained in the future. It is there forever, here and now. Abiding in that consciousness by which we know that we exist is absolute stillness. It's thoughtless Awareness. It's consciousness without an object or a subject. It is the Awareness that's prior to subject, prior to object. This is what is meant by Self-abidance. This is what is meant by Silence. This is Stillness. In this silent stillness, there is peace.
One believes that there is bondage and therefore seeks liberation. But the fact is that there is no bondage but only liberation. Why call it by a name and seek it?
The feeling "The body is 'I'" is the error. This false sense of "I" must go. The real "I" is always there. It is here and now. It never appears anew and disappears again.
The ultimate truth is so simple. It is nothing more than being in the pristine state. This is all that need be said.
The state of being is permanent; things in the world are not. They are fleeting phenomena passing on the screen of being--consciousness, which is eternal and stationary.
Truly there is no cause for you to be miserable and unhappy. You yourself impose limitations on your true nature of infinite being, and then weep that you are but a finite creature. Then you take up this or that spiritual practice to transcend the non-existent limitations. But if your spiritual practice itself assumes the existence of the limitations, how can it help you to transcend them?
Bliss is not added to your nature, it is merely revealed as your true natural state, eternal and imperishable. The only way to be rid of your grief is to know and be the Self.
There is no goal to be reached. There is nothing to be attained. You are the Self.
You, being the Self, want to know how to attain the Self. It is something like a man being at Ramanasramam asking how many ways there are to reach Ramanasramam and which is the best way for him.
All that is required of you is to give up the thought that you are this body and to give up all thought of the external thing or the notSelf.
The ego--self appears and disappears and is transitory, whereas the real Self is permanent. Though you are actually the true Self you wrongly identify the real Self with the ego--self.
When you try to trace the ego, which is the basis of the perception of the world and everything else, you find the ego does not exist at all and neither does all this creation that you see.
There is no alternative for you but to accept the world as unreal if you are seeking the truth and the truth alone.
There is no dissolution or creation, no one in bondage, nor anyone pursuing spiritual practices. There is no one desiring liberation nor anyone liberated. This is the absolute truth.
When you identify yourself with the body then only the forms and shapes are there. But when you transcend your body the others disappear along with your body-consciousness.
That upon which memory and oblivion depend is the idea of the individual self. When one looks for it, this individual "I" is not found because it is not real. Hence this "I" is synonymous with illusion or ignorance (maya, avidya or ajnana).
To know that there never was ignorance is the goal of all the spiritual teachings.
All efforts are directed to destroying doubt and confusion. To do so their roots must be cut. Their roots are the samskaras (conditioned tendencies).
Hearing the truth (sravana) is the first stage. If the understanding is not firm one has to practice reflection (manana) and uninterrupted contemplation (nididhyasana) on it. These two processes scorch the seeds of samskaras (mental tendencies) so that they are rendered ineffective.
Because we exist the ego appears to exist.
Take no notice of the ego and its activities, but see only the light behind. The ego is the thought "I." The true "I" is the Self.
Speaking of realization, it implies two selves-the one to realize, the other to be realized. What is not already realized is sought to be realized. Once we admit our existence, how is it that we do not know our self?
The mind cannot kill itself. So, your business is to find the real nature of the mind. Then you will know that there is no mind. When the Self is sought, the mind is nowhere. Abiding in the Self, one need not worry about the mind.
This ignorance must go. Again, who says, "I am ignorant?" He must be the witness of ignorance. That is what you are.
The idea of time is only in your mind. It is not in the Self. There is no time for the Self. Time arises as an idea after the ego arises.
Effort must be made to eradicate the mental tendencies. Knowledge can only remain unshaken after all the mental tendencies are rooted out.
The conception that there is a goal and a path to it is wrong. We are the goal or peace always. To get rid of the notion that we are not peace is all that is required.
The Guru cannot give you anything new, which you don't have already. Removal of the notion that we have not realized the Self is all that is required.
The jnani (enlightened one) lives in the Heart. When he moves about and deals with men and things, he knows that what he sees is not separate from the one supreme reality, the Brahman which he realized in the Heart as his own Self, the real.
From where does this "I" arise? Seek for it within; it then vanishes.
When the mind unceasingly investigates its own nature, it transpires that there is no such thing as mind. This is the direct path for all.
The mind is merely thoughts. Of all thoughts the thought "I" is the root. Therefore, the mind is only the thought "I."
Get rid of the "I" thought. So long as "I" is alive, there is grief. When "I" ceases to exist, there is no grief.
The ego's phenomenal existence is transcended when you dive into the source from where the "I" thought rises.
In a cinema-show you can see pictures only in a very dim light, or in darkness. When all the lights are switched on, the pictures disappear. So also in the flood light of the supreme atman (Self) all objects disappear.
To see objects the reflected light of the mind is necessary. To see the Heart it is enough that the mind is turned towards it. The mind loses itself and Heart shines forth.
The essence of mind is only awareness or consciousness. When the ego, however, dominates it, it functions as the reasoning, thinking or sensing faculty.
Hold the ego first and then ask how it is to be destroyed. Who asks the question? It is the ego. This question is a sure way to cherish the ego and not to kill it.
This ghostly ego which is devoid of form comes into existence by grasping a form; grasping a form it endures; feeding upon forms which it grasps it waxes more; leaving one form it grasps another form, but when sought for it takes to flight.
The thought "I am the body of flesh and blood" is the one thread on which are strung the various other thoughts. Therefore, if we turn inwards inquiring, "Where is this I?" all thoughts (including the "I" thought) will come to an end and Self-knowledge will then spontaneously shine forth.
Meditation requires an object to meditate upon, whereas there is only the subject without the object in vichara (inquiry). Meditation differs from vichara in this way.
Realization is nothing new to be acquired. It is already there, but obstructed by a screen of thoughts. All our attempts are directed to lifting this screen and then realization is revealed.
Vichara (inquiry) is the process and the goal also. "I am" is the goal and the final reality. To hold to it with effort is vichara. When spontaneous and natural it is realization.
Self-Inquiry is the one infallible means, the only direct one, to realize the unconditioned, Absolute Being that you really are.
When King Janaka exclaimed, "Now I have discovered the thief who has been ruining me all along. He shall be dealt with summarily," the king was really referring to the ego or the mind.
The attempt to destroy the ego or the mind through sadhanas (practices) other than atma-vichara (Self-Inquiry) is just like the thief pretending to be a policeman to catch the thief that is himself.
Having realized the Self, nothing remains to be known, because it is perfect bliss, it is the all.
Atma-vichara (Self-Inquiry) alone can reveal the truth that neither the ego nor the mind really exists, and enable one to realize the pure, undifferentiated being of the Self or the absolute.
Attention to one's own Self, which is ever-shining as "I," the one undivided and pure reality, is the only raft with which the individual, who is deluded by thinking "I am the body," can cross the ocean of unending births.
Reality is simply the loss of ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity. Because the ego is no entity it will automatically vanish and reality will shine forth by itself.
There is no greater mystery than this; that being the reality we seek to gain reality. We think that there is something hiding our reality and that it must be destroyed before the reality is gained. It is ridiculous. A day will dawn when you will yourself laugh at your past efforts. That which will be on the day you laugh is also here and now.
You are the mind or think that you are the mind. The mind is nothing but thoughts. Now behind every particular thought there is a general thought which is the "I," that is you. Let us call this "I" the first thought.
Stick to this "I"-thought and question it to find out what it is. When this question takes strong hold on you, you cannot think of other thoughts.
Cling to yourself, that is, to the "I"-thought. When your interest keeps you to that single idea, other thoughts will automatically get rejected and they will vanish.
If you are vigilant and make a stern effort to reject every thought when it rises, you will soon find that you are going deeper and deeper into your own inner self. At this level it is not necessary to make an effort to reject thoughts.
The mind will subside only by means of the inquiry, "Who am I?" The thought "Who am I," destroying all other thoughts, will itself finally be destroyed like the stick used for stirring the funeral pyre.
What does it matter how many thoughts rise? At the very moment that each thought rises, if one vigilantly inquires, "To whom did this rise?" it will be known "To me." If one then inquires, "Who am I?" the mind will turn back to its source (the Self) and the thought which had risen will also subside. By repeatedly practicing thus, the power of the mind to abide in its source increases.
Although tendencies towards sense-objects, which have been recurring down the ages, rise in countless numbers like the waves of the ocean, they will all perish as meditation on one's nature becomes more and more intense.
Without giving room even to the doubting thought, "Is it possible to destroy all these tendencies (vasanas) and to remain as Self alone?" one should persistently cling fast to Self-attention.
As long as there are tendencies towards sense-objects in the mind, the inquiry "Who am I?" is necessary.
When thoughts rise, one should annihilate all of them through inquiry, then and there in their very place of origin.
Not leaving the Self is true Knowledge (Jnana).
In truth, these two (desirelessness and knowledge) are one, and the same.
Just as a pearl-diver tying a stone to his waist dives into the sea and takes the pearl lying at the bottom, so everyone, diving deep within himself with non-attachment, can attain the pearl of the Self.
If one resorts uninterruptedly to remembrance of one's real nature until one attains the Self, that alone will be sufficient.
Inquiring, "Who am I that is in bondage?" and knowing one's real nature alone is liberation.
If you meditate in the right manner then the current of mind induced will continue to flow even in the midst of your work.
The same line you take in meditation will be expressed in your activities.
Giving up the false self is the true renunciation.
You have to ask yourself the question "Who am I?" This investigation will lead in the end to the discovery of something within you that is behind the mind. Solve that great problem and you will solve all other problems.
This pure "I AM" is the heart, our true being. "I AM" alone is real.
There should be nothing associated with the pure Self. The Self is the unassociated, pure reality, in whose light the body and the ego shines.
Consciousness is always Self-consciousness. If you are conscious of anything, you are essentially conscious of yourself.
Reincarnation exists only so long as there is ignorance. There is really no reincarnation at all, either now or before. Nor will there be any hereafter, this is the truth.
The Self is God. "I AM" is God.
Know that you are the perfect shining light, which not only makes the existence of God's kingdom possible, but also allows it to be seen as some wonderful heaven.
Faith is in things unknown, but the Self is self-evident.
That bliss of the Self is always with you and you will find it for yourself if you seek it earnestly.
All unhappiness is due to the ego; with it comes all your trouble. What does it avail you to attribute to the happenings in life the cause of misery which is really within you?
To be the Self that you really are is the only means to realize the bliss that is ever yours.
Effort must be made to eradicate the mental tendencies. Knowledge can only remain unshaken after all the mental tendencies are rooted out.
He who thinks he is the doer is also the sufferer.
It is the human mind that creates its own difficulties and then cries for help.
Misery does not exist in reality but only in mere imagination.
If one scrutinizes one's own Self, which is bliss, there will be no misery at all in one's life.
Good, God, Love, are all the same thing. If the person keeps continuously thinking of any one of these, it will be enough. All meditation is for the purpose of keeping out all other thoughts.
You must love all and help all, since only in this way can you help yourself.
If one knows the truth that all one gives to others is giving only to oneself, who indeed will not be a virtuous person and perform the kind act of giving to others.
Since everyone is one's own Self, whoever does whatever to whomever is doing it only to himself.
Look within, see the Self. Then there will be an end of the world and its miseries.
So long as you consider yourself to be the body, you see the world as external and the imperfections appear to you.
You are not instructed to shut your eyes to the world, you are only to "see yourself first and then see the whole world as the Self.”
To bring about peace means to be free from thoughts and to abide as pure Consciousness.
If one remains at peace oneself, there is only peace everywhere.
There is no standard by which to judge something to be right and another to be wrong. Opinions differ according to the nature of the individual and according to the surroundings. They are ideas, and nothing more.
Whatever is done lovingly, with righteous purity and with peace of mind, is a good action.
Bad habits and bad conduct are like a wound in the body. Every disease must be given appropriate treatment.
When there is no "I" there is no karma (destiny).
Until realization, there will be karma, that is, action and reaction. After realization, there will be no karma, and no world.
Unless the doer of all karmas (actions) -- the ego -- is annihilated through Inquiry, the perfect peace of Supreme Bliss, which is the result of Karma Yoga, cannot be achieved.
Destiny (karma) is the result of past actions.
Whatever this body is to do and whatever experiences it is to pass through was already decided when it came into existence.
He who is forgetful of the Self, mistaking the physical body for it, and goes through innumerable births, is like one who wanders all over the world in a dream. Thus, realizing the Self would only be like waking up from the dream-wanderings.
Surrender can never be regarded as complete so long as the devotee wants this or that from the Lord.
Awareness which already exists within everyone everywhere, is imperishable and changeless.
The guru does not bring about Self-realization. He simply removes the obstacles to it.
God or guru never forsakes the devotee who has surrendered himself.
Silence is the best, the most potent initiation. Silent initiation changes the heart of all.
It is very hard to realize one's true state or nature without the grace of the guru.
God never acts. He just is.
Individuality is the illusion that we are not identical with God. When the illusion is dispelled, what remains is God.
Realization of the Self is realization of God. It is not an experience of God, rather, it is an understanding that one is God.
Knowing the Self, God is known. In fact, God is none other than Self.
There is only one state, that is consciousness, or awareness or existence.
Only when the ever-present Consciousness is realized will it be permanent.
When one's own true nature is known, then there is being without beginning and end. It is unbroken awareness bliss.
The one unalterable reality is being. Until you realize that state of pure being you should pursue the inquiry.
Silence is truth. Silence is bliss. Silence is peace. And hence Silence is the Self.
"I am that I am," which implies the metaphysical dictum that the proof of existence is existence itself.
Did I ever say that the world is there because of you? I have put to you the question, "What is there without Self?" You must know that by the Self, the body -- subtle or gross -- is not meant.
All that you see depends on the seer. Apart from the seer there is no seen.
He that sees the Self sees the Divine.
Turn the mind inward and search for the seer; you find that you are the seer and the objective world does not exist.
To one who has destroyed himself (his ego) and is awake to his nature as bliss, what remains to be accomplished? He does not see anything (as being) other than himself. Who can comprehend his state?
Although the scriptures proclaim, "That thou art," it is a sign of weakness to meditate (affirm): "I am not this but That," instead of inquiring what one is and remaining so; for one is always That.
It is absurd to say either: "I have not realized the Self," or "I have realized the Self." Why? Are there two selves for one to be the object of the other? It is the experience of all that it (the Self) is one.
The sense of doership is bondage, and not the actions themselves. "Be still and know that I am God." Stillness will prevail and there will be no agitation of the mind. Agitation of the mind is the cause of desire, the sense of doership, and of personality, or the personal sense of "I." If that is stopped, there is quiet.
It is necessary that to see the mirror we should cease to see the reflection in it.
The moment you start looking for the Self and go deeper and deeper, the real Self is waiting there to take you in.
All that we have to do is to give up identifying the Self with the body, with forms and limits, and then we shall know ourselves as the Self that we always are.
Meditation is by you, of you, and in you. It must go on where you are. It cannot be outside you. So you are the center of meditation and that is the Heart.
The Guru is always within you.
When one remains without thinking one understands another by means of the universal language of Silence.
Silence is never-ending speech. Vocal speech obstructs the other speech of silence. In Silence one is in intimate contact with the surroundings.
Pleasure or pain are aspects of the mind only. Our essential nature is happiness. But we have forgotten the Self and imagine that the body or the mind is the Self. It is that wrong identity that gives rise to misery.
Complete surrender does require that you have no desire of your own. You must be satisfied with whatever God gives you and that means having no desire of your own.
Do not delude yourself by imagining your source to be some God outside you. Your source is within yourself. Give yourself up to it. That means that you should seek the source within and merge with it.
No learning knowledge of scriptures is necessary to know the Self, as no man requires a mirror to see himself. All knowledge is required only to be given up eventually as not-Self.
Renunciation does not imply apparent divesting of costumes, family ties, home, etc., but renunciation of desires and attachment.
The feeling "I work" is the hindrance. Ask yourself, "Who works?" Remember who you are. Then the work will not bind you, it will go on automatically.
Attending to the Self means attending to the work. Because you identify yourself with the body, you think that work is done by you. But the body and its activities, including that work, are not apart from the Self.
Renunciation is always in the mind, not in going to forests or solitary places, or giving up one's duties. The main thing is to see that the mind does not turn outward but inward.
Where is shanti (peace)? If shanti is required, the only correct method of securing it is by Self-Inquiry.